Redgrave plans skating venue

Sir Steve Redgrave has unveiled his latest Olympic challenge - and he could have set his toughest task yet.


The five-time Olympic champion wants to build a long-track speed skating venue in Great Britain, which would also double as national performance centre for all ice sports.

Redgrave has been in Vancouver in his role as vice-president of the British Olympic Association and claims to have already held tentative talks with private donors.

And he believes there is a rich stream of untapped talent from other sports ready to make a transition, highlighting the example of Canadian Clara Hughes, who has won Olympics medals in cycling and speed skating.

"We were not very good at track cycling until we built the Manchester Velodrome for the Commonwealth Games in 2002," said Redgrave.

"I have spoken to a couple of sponsors but the big issue is capital. UK Sport have said that if I can find the funds for the capital build they could run it.

"I'm speaking to key donors and will speak to all the governing bodies involved when I get back from Vancouver.

"My idea is you concentrate on an area where we can be the world's best - a third of your medal chances could be under one roof."

However, Redgrave's ambition certainly won't come cheap.

Winter sports currently only receive £6.5 million to fund an entire Olympic cycle but the cost of building a facility to house a 400m refrigerated track would dwarf that.

The Richmond Oval, which has staged speed skating events during these Games, was completed at a cost of $178m (£110m).

Follow the Winter Olympics 24/7 on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) and EurosportHD (Sky 412). British Eurosport channels are streamed online via the Eurosport Player.

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